There is some talk of there being a capital on the Molonglo,
a place of white buildings and white elephants and the white Australia policy,
set in the largest illuminated paddock in the world,
a place of fat salaries and fat politicians and fat civil servants,
who live on the fat of the land and grow old on fat pensions,
a place of gossiping wives and jealousies and bickerings,
and ‘Don’t speak to her, the Gazette shows her husband’s only on seven-fifty’;
a place where souls and principles can sometimes be bought
but are more often frittered away or destroyed by obesity of mind.
Yes, there is some talk of there being a capital on the Molonglo,
a place where the people have never managed to penetrate
except disguised as deputations of self-seekers or cranks.
They say it carries more stiff shirts to the acre
than any other property of its kind in the universe,
and that its cost-plus buildings are especially designed
so that the true voice of the people can never be echoed within its halls.
Yes, there is some talk of there being a capital on the Molonglo;
perhaps one day I shall go there in a tourist bus
and be proud of being condescended to by a parliamentary under-doorkeeper.
Ian Mudie (1911 – 1976) was an Australian poet and author born in Hawthorn, South Australia.
Image credit: Sam